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Chronic Pain from Defibrillator

My mother, who is now 85, had a defibrillator implanted less than a year ago.  She was experiencing significant pain above her stomach and since no gastrointestinal problem was located, she was referred to a cardiologist.  He recommended the implant.  At one time, she apparently had a heart attack, although she was not aware of it at the time.  She is very thin (now about 105 lbs., 5'3" tall) and because of the chronic pain caused by the implant (as it juts up against muscle, nerve, or bone) is now feeling it was a terrible decision.  She cannot sleep on one side because the device hurts.  If it were possible, she would have it removed, but has been told that cannot be done.  The physician offered to move it, but his warnings about the dangers of additional surgery (infection, etc.) have frightened my mother and she doesn't want to go through the procedure just to have it moved, as the pain may not cease.  Even more frustrating is the fact that the original stomach pain persists.  To complicate the situation, the physician treating her is not, in my mother's view, a particularly nice or sympathetic person.  My mother is not a complainer about physical ailments, and is in fact rather stoic, so I don't think she is exaggerating the pain she is experiencing.  Are there any suggestions for pain relief?  Is it true that the device cannot be removed?  Thank you.
3 Responses
404682 tn?1324579818
I'm sorry to hear your mom is having such a tough time. If it were me what I would do is get a second opinion. I have no patience with doctors who don't listen and can't at least empathize with what their patients are going thru.

I'm not sure whether it can be removed and reimplanted but you could check in the expert forum with the doc, he may have some answers for you.

If it can't be reimplanted and shouldn't be removed then how about a chronic pain management specialist? There are all sorts of things they could try to help alleviate her discomfort.
Avatar universal
I have a defib.After a 10 days,I was zapped 4 times.3 of the 4 were done within 20 seconds.Make a long story short.They gave me a EKG and ran by defib through a
computer and checked it out.I had a minor adjustment and knock on wood.I've OK
from March of 2007.For her getting sick,have they checked out her meds.Jan.2008,
they adjusted my meds, and was getting sick just before Thanksgiven.(I couldn't on Turkey day)I went though blood test and a process of limitation of meds.
I couldn't eat and lost 30 some odd pounds.They found the med causing my illness.
Since then I gain about 12 back.
Avatar universal
I just had my ICD removed (6 weeks).  For almost 18 months I went through hell.  It felt like slow electrocution.  The local doctors all gave me the run-around.  Fortunately I found the Cleveland Clinic.  The doctors there actually listen to the patient.  

It has been out now for 6 weeks and I'm regaining my health.  I decided I'd rather die from a quick arrhythmia than a prolonged miserable slow death.

In fact, there is reason to wonder if the damn thing was even needed to begin with.
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